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Train Reservations with JR Pass

Washington DC...
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Train Reservations with JR Pass

I'll be going to Japan in November and staying in Tokyo and Kyoto. The rides I'll be making on JR are all round-trips to/from the following: Tokyo-Kyoto, Kyoto-Nara, Kyoto-Himeji. I'll be going to Kyoto on a Sunday but the other trips will be during the week. Do I need to make reservations pretty early, which leads me to my next Q:

If I arrive at Narita Airport on a Wednesday, exchange my Voucher for the JR Pass and have the Pass start functioning on Friday, can I only make reservations on Friday or can I make them that Wednesday?

Tokyo
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1. Re: Train Reservations with JR Pass

>>If I arrive at Narita Airport on a Wednesday, exchange my Voucher for the JR Pass and have the Pass start functioning on Friday, can I only make reservations on Friday or can I make them that Wednesday?<<

You can make seat reservations on your JR Pass when you have your pass validated on Wednesday.

>>Do I need to make reservations pretty early,<<

I presume making bookings on several days' notice would be good enough, though some of the Hikari trains may be fully booked for the Sunday morning because of colored foliage in Kyoto. You might have some allowance as to departure time from Tokyo. The Hikari leaves Tokyo for Kyoto every 30 minutes.

Japan
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2. Re: Train Reservations with JR Pass

Mostly for convenience sake, I've usually made major shinkansen travel reservations either at the same time that I exchange the pass voucher upon arrival, or the next morning. Depends on how busy the office is in the airport, don't want to take a lot of time if there is a long line. Then if your schedule changes and you don't want to use your originally scheduled reservation, just cancel that one when you make another reservation. There is no extra fee to cancel, and you free up that seat for someone else.

3. Re: Train Reservations with JR Pass

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